China grew a plant on the moon — it sprouted two leaves, data indicates


China became the first nation to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon's far side. The Chang'e-4 lunar rover carried a small biosphere with six living organisms, including cotton seeds, as part of its mission. The cotton plant produced two leaves before succumbing to the cold, according to a virtual simulation of the cotton plant created by researchers using data from the biosphere experiment.


China made history when it successfully landed the Chang'e-4 spacecraft on the far side of the moon. The Lunar Micro Ecosystem, which was carried to the lunar surface as part of the mission, was the first attempt at growing plants on the moon (LME). The conditions within this compact, cylindric biosphere were comparable to those on Earth, with the exception of microgravity and cosmic radiation. The following was in the LME:

potato seeds

cotton seedlings



fruit fly eggs

A common weed is  Arabidopsis thaliana.


All of these plants, excluding cotton, perished rapidly. A recent 3D reconstruction shows that the cotton plant first produced two leaves before succumbing to the cold after around two weeks. The findings indicate that the trial had marginally better results than anticipated.


The experiment's creator, Professor Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University's Advanced Technology Research Institute, has no intentions of publishing any academic works based on this investigation. However, he does plan to keep looking at how different lifeforms could be able to live on the moon.



NASA and other space agencies must learn how to continuously tend to plants in orbit if they want to carry out long-term missions.


NASA wrote that carrying a few multivitamins won't be sufficient to keep astronauts healthy while they explore deep space. They will require fresh food.

Why? There are some merely logistical reasons. Radiation may hasten the process of nutritional degradation in foods like prepared meals and supplements. Growing fresh vegetables would provide astronauts access to more nutrient-dense, savoury food. Additionally, if plants could be grown in space, astronauts wouldn't need to pack as much prepared food.


However, growing plants in space has certain psychological benefits.


Fresh flowers and gardens on the International Space Station create a lovely ambience and allow us to bring a small portion of Earth with us on our voyages, as we already know from our trailblazing astronauts, according to a NASA statement. They benefit both Earth's and space's psychological health, according to the statement.


NASA is also interested in improving astronauts' quality of life while eating in space. For instance, on recent missions, the agency prepared Christmas dinners and comfort food, and also conducted research on astronauts' preferences for dining in groups vs alone and if they benefit from cooking their own food. Other researchers are looking on ways to address the emotional needs of astronauts through space dining as well as solutions to issues with the environment, like smell loss.


At the end of the day, NASA dietician Scott Smith told Eater, "We're not worried about the muscle cells." "We are concerned for the person."

Reference: NASA

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